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Campus Health Service

Does your diet meet the needs of your modern day lifestyle?

Did you know?

  • What you ate as a child could affect your metabolism as an adult
  • What you consume daily affects your capacity for daily functioning

The following is a basic requirement diet. These needs may vary according to your activity level, eg inactive elderly people need less, and very active sportsmen/young people may need more of the stipulated amounts.

  1. fats, oils - 30ml per day
  2. milk and milkproducts - 400ml per day
  3. plant and animal protein - 2 portions per day
  4. fruits and vegetables, raw with skin and\or slightly cooked - 4 per day
  5. staples eg porridge, potatoes, breads,cereals, spaghetti, rice etc - 6 portions per day.

Certain illnesses or lifestyles may require very specific needs. Some of these conditions will now be discussed:

Are you a smoker?

Then you need extra vitamins especially C,E AND A. This is to reduce the waste products of smoking in your body. These are all anti-oxidant vitamins and can be found in fruits and vegetables.

  • Vitamin C in Citrus fruits, papaws, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
  • Vitamin A in seafood, butter, margarine, cheese, milk, green and yellow vegetables and fruit.
  • Vitamin E in sardines, snoek, olive and canola oils.

Are you stressed?

Then you have a special need for the B-group of vitamins. Stress leads to tiredness. The B-group of vitamins will assist the body in the breakdown of food and energy production necessary to reduce fatigue. All B-Groups are found in chicken, meat, fish, wholewheat bread, cereals, brown rice etc. All green vegetables, mushrooms, nuts and dairy products are rich in vitamins B2 and B12.

Are you a heavy coffee or tea drinker?

People exceeding six cups of coffee or tea a day also have a need for the B-group of vitamins, zinc, iron and extra water. The increase in caffeine intake will increase the excretion of water from the body and stimulates.the production of energy from fat.

Tannin found in tea decreases iron absorption and leads to chronic anaernia. For B-groups see above and get zinc from chicken, red meat, yoghurt and nuts. Iron from eggs, wholewheat bread, cereals, low fat red meat and liver. To increase the absorption of iron it must be taken with Vitamin C, eg orange juice and not with milk products.

Are you a vegetarian?

Then you need more iron in your diet. As red meat has a high iron content, vegetarians should get their iron source from dry beans, eggs, dried fruit, wholewheat bread and iron rich cereals.

Tips for a healthy day:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Eat more roughage
  • Use less salt and sugar
  • Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables and meats daily.
  • Reduce the amount that you eat
  • Drink 8 glasses of water per day
  • Alcohol in moderation = 2 tots per day